Support Veterans and Loved Ones this November

This November, RAINN honors veterans and all members of the DoD community for their service. Veteran’s Day is a time when many members of the military, veterans, and their loved ones celebrate their service and sacrifices—but it can also be a difficult moment for those who have experienced trauma, including trauma from sexual violence.

“As we take a moment to recognize and appreciate veterans, it’s also important to take a moment to listen and be there for veterans and others who may be healing from sexual violence,” says Keeli Sorensen, vice president of victim services. “Simple actions can make a world of difference. It starts with listening to and believing survivors. Let them take the lead on how they choose to heal and let them know you’re there for them.”

RAINN commemorates 8 years of service to survivors of sexual violence within the DoD community through Safe Helpline, which was created to meet the unique needs of survivors in the military community who may have challenges accessing support because of operational, geographic, and other constraints.

“Just like there’s no one true narrative for civilian survivors, there’s no one story shared by all those who have served in the United States Armed Forces,” says David Ring, Safe Helpline director. “It can be so powerful to share space with someone, even if their experience doesn’t fit what you might imagine it to be.”

James, a member of RAINN’s Speakers Bureau, and survivor from the DoD community, highlights the importance of sharing his story. “You don’t have to pretend it didn’t happen just because someone else doesn’t want to recognize it as legitimate,” says James. “You know the truth of what happened to you.”

Safe Helpline provides anonymous, live, one-on-one specialized support, information, and resources to help empower sexual assault survivors in the Department of Defense community as they take the next steps in their healing process. Safe Helpline services are available worldwide, 24/7—ensuring access to help, anytime, anywhere.

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